US approves sale of Javelin anti-tank missile systems to Australia

According to information published by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency on October 30, 2020, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia of Javelin missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $46 million
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A U.S. soldier from the NATO-led Kosovo Force mission, who is organic to the Oregon Army National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry Regiment, demonstrates how to operate a Javelin anti-tank missile system to troops from the Army of North Macedonia Sept. 1, 2020, at Krivolak Training Area, North Macedonia.(Picture source U.S.DoD)

The Government of Australia has requested to buy two hundred (200) Javelin FGM-148E missiles with U.S. Government technical assistance and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated cost is not to exceed $46 million.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is seeking to fill a short-term shortfall in its Javelin missile inventory in order to maintain the appropriate level of readiness. Australia will not have any difficulty absorbing these missiles into its armed forces.

The Javelin is a man-portable close combat fire-and-forget anti-tank missile system manufactured by the Raytheon / Lockheed Martin Javelin joint venture. The anti-tank weapon is in service with 21 countries all over the world.

The Javelin system consists of a missile in a disposable launch tube assembly and a reusable CLU (Control Launcher Unit). The CLU mechanically engages the launch tube assembly for shoulder firing, has day and night sights for surveillance and target acquisition, and electronically interfaces with the missile for target lock-on and missile launch. The CLU has a weight of 6.4 kg while the missile has a weight of 11.8 kg with a length of 108.1 cm.

Javelin’s long-wave IR seeker enables it to engage in obscurants and reduced visibility and resists countermeasures. Its versatility makes it effective against tanks, bunkers, buildings, small boats, and slow-moving helicopters. It is adaptable to many platforms, including tripods, trucks, light armored vehicles, and remotely piloted vehicles.

The Javelin missile is fitted with a tandem shaped-charged warhead to defeat vehicle armor and can be fired in direct-attack or top-attack modes. The missile has a maximum firing range of 2.5 km.

The Javelin FGM-148E missile is an enhanced variant of Javelin. It features an improved rocket motor that will reduce the missile's time of flight; improvements to the command launch unit (CLU); software enhancements and an enhanced performance warhead that increases Javelin’s lethality against a wider range of target sets.